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2 hours ago, gimmeMD said:

Thanks!

guy in my class had a degree in ancient  languages (mostly greek and latin), followed by a masters in ancient Macedonian languages .  

I don't think we even blinked at taking him. 

you see stuff like that and it just reinforces the point - the UG subject doesn't matter, only the GPA matters. 

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I remember taking an anthropology course in undergrad that was about human evolution and how our bodies adapted to evolutionary pressure. I thought it was pretty interesting in terms of learning more about the human body. There's also a medical anthropology course at UBC that discusses the role of culture in disease and illness which is also very useful in our multicultural country.

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4 minutes ago, Mithril said:

I remember taking an anthropology course in undergrad that was about human evolution and how our bodies adapted to evolutionary pressure. I thought it was pretty interesting in terms of learning more about the human body. There's also a medical anthropology course at UBC that discusses the role of culture in disease and illness which is also very useful in our multicultural country.

Been a long time, Mithril! Good to see you still active on these parts.

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2 hours ago, rmorelan said:

guy in my class had a degree in ancient  languages (mostly greek and latin), followed by a masters in ancient Macedonian languages .  

I don't think we even blinked at taking him. 

you see stuff like that and it just reinforces the point - the UG subject doesn't matter, only the GPA matters. 

Thank you rmorelan you always give me great answers! 

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4 hours ago, rmorelan said:

guy in my class had a degree in ancient  languages (mostly greek and latin), followed by a masters in ancient Macedonian languages .  

I don't think we even blinked at taking him. 

you see stuff like that and it just reinforces the point - the UG subject doesn't matter, only the GPA matters. 

Out of curiosity did he have a hard time catching up on the science concepts in medical school?

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13 minutes ago, Olle said:

Out of curiosity did he have a hard time catching up on the science concepts in medical school?

Not at all - I mean that is what medical school is actually for (of course) but really it isn't an issue for the most part. Which is exactly why they don't care about the program. 

On a broader note - the UG science stuff you take is quite a bit different I think than the medical school science. I feel that often we overstress the idea that there is a true connection. I mean you can flush the major of the math, physics, chemistry and biology you learn right down the toilet at the start of medical school with I think little consequence. Ha in some ways it is the same with residency (once you have completed the LMCC part 2). Knowledge is always useful in some fashion to be clear and we strive to know all we can. Just I wouldn't overly stress that - I could easily ask if all the science students had a hard time catching up with all the key non-science parts of medicine and dealing with all the grey areas (which is big part of things). 

The question is not whether you know something, it is rather can you learn something new?

 

Edited by rmorelan
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7 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

Not at all - I mean that is what medical school is actually for (of course) but really it isn't an issue for the most part. Which is exactly why they don't care about the program. 

On a broader note - the UG science stuff you take is quite a bit different I think than the medical school science. I feel that often we overstress the idea that there is a true connection. I mean you can flush the major of the math, physics, chemistry and biology you learn right down the toilet at the start of medical school with I think little consequence. Ha in some ways it is the same with residency (once you have completed the LMCC part 2). Knowledge is always useful in some fashion to be clear and we strive to know all we can. Just I wouldn't overly stress that - I could easily ask if all the science students had a hard time catching up with all the key non-science parts of medicine and dealing with all the grey areas (which is big part of things). 

 

 

That was great! Thanks!

I'm double majoring in immunology and developmental cell biology (so a lot of genetics & cell physiology).

How useful do you think my knowledge of these topics is in med school?

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1 hour ago, Olle said:

Out of curiosity did he have a hard time catching up on the science concepts in medical school?

On the contrary, the non-science students anecdotally have had a much easier time absorbing lots of information. They are used to doing 100s of pages of reading, whereas in computational / more core science backgrounds...you rarely ever have any "reading" to do, especially if you are good at synthesizing concepts and understanding.

Medical school content is not difficult, it is just volume. Even then, there is enough "common sense" volume and P/F to buffer the necessity to "have to" know minute details.

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1 hour ago, Olle said:

That was great! Thanks!

I'm double majoring in immunology and developmental cell biology (so a lot of genetics & cell physiology).

How useful do you think my knowledge of these topics is in med school?

It wont hurt, but it honestly wont make much difference. The related concepts in medical school will be covered superficially. 
 

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1 hour ago, Olle said:

Out of curiosity did he have a hard time catching up on the science concepts in medical school?

Last year, there was a bizarre few weeks where Ottawa put the MCAT as a requirement.  Supposedly, one of the motivations was that students with non-traditional backgrounds were struggling.  I've heard stories both ways - some my find it easier and some may struggle.  Beyond a very basic level of understanding chemistry and biology, I personally think there's only a minimal advantage to having broader science background.  The MCAT is just a means to really filter applicants, and in my view people with background that are closer to medicine like pharmacy, physiotherapy are probably as well prepared as someone who is coming from a more basic science background.  It's definitely possible that beyond preclerkship especially, a broader background would help dealing with more grey areas, where the ability to articulate and see more nuanced perspectives would be increasingly more useful.  

 

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26 minutes ago, JohnGrisham said:

It wont hurt, but it honestly wont make much difference. The related concepts in medical school will be covered superficially. 
 

I would agree with that - and there sub fields of medicine where a solid knowledge of those area is important (well like genetics, and immunologists ha)

for the most part the problem is that we simply in medicine cannot really fix cells. So there is a limit to understanding how they work translating to CLINICALLY useful treatment options. That is probably the major point of all this in the end - can you use the information you are learning (truly basic science, and memorizing various pathways) to actually treat someone. Most of the UG stuff - the answer would be no, not at all. 

Classic example is the Kreb cycle - everyone memorizes that as a part of a couple of courses - but if something goes wrong in that cycle I cannot do that much to help. Now sometimes a metabolite is produced from an error in that cycle, which there is a blood test for, and that test tells me they have metabolic disease ABC which requires treatment XYZ.    Great! However from a clinical point of view you can completely remove the Kreb cycle from that discussion in a sense - and instead go patient presenting with symptoms X, require a workup that includes blood test for ABC, and if found give XYZ. No where in that process is an understanding of the Kreb cycle actually required. I don't care how or why ABC is made - I only need to know that if present under certain conditions do XYZ. The basic science would be used in a lab by someone who is not a clinical doctor to develop new and better XYZ - but that isn't a doctor's job. Same with most other things. How do antibiotics work? Who cares, just know that particular ones can fight particular things.........

Now part of me is gagging over here because I like basic science, and think doctors should be very involved in things that require it. I couldn't learn what I learn personally without knowing the foundations I think. BUT that is actually often a distraction and has even hurt me at times - while I am learning a 20 step process and all the wonders related, my colleague has just memories the clinical aspect and moved on. You don't win a gold star because you know the basic science :)

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3 minutes ago, calcan said:

Last year, there was a bizarre few weeks where Ottawa put the MCAT as a requirement.  Supposedly, one of the motivations was that students with non-traditional backgrounds were struggling.  I've heard stories both ways - some my find it easier and some may struggle.  Beyond a very basic level of understanding chemistry and biology, I personally think there's only a minimal advantage to having broader science background.  The MCAT is just a means to really filter applicants, and in my view people with background that are closer to medicine like pharmacy, physiotherapy are probably as well prepared as someone who is coming from a more basic science background.  It's definitely possible that beyond preclerkship especially, a broader background would help dealing with more grey areas, where the ability to articulate and see more nuanced perspectives would be increasingly more useful.  

 

what is odd about that is Ottawa is one of the few schools that has a lot of prereqs. I mean you have to do a lot of chemistry relatively speaking for that school, to the point that if you are not in a science program you are definitely going out of your way to cover everything :) 

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11 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

I would agree with that - and there sub fields of medicine where a solid knowledge of those area is important (well like genetics, and immunologists ha)

for the most part the problem is that we simply in medicine cannot really fix cells. So there is a limit to understanding how they work translating to CLINICALLY useful treatment options. That is probably the major point of all this in the end - can you use the information you are learning (truly basic science, and memorizing various pathways) to actually treat someone. Most of the UG stuff - the answer would be no, not at all. 

Classic example is the Kreb cycle - everyone memorizes that as a part of a couple of courses - but if something goes wrong in that cycle I cannot do that much to help. Now sometimes a metabolite is produced from an error in that cycle, which there is a blood test for, and that test tells me they have metabolic disease ABC which requires treatment XYZ.    Great! However from a clinical point of view you can completely remove the Kreb cycle from that discussion in a sense - and instead go patient presenting with symptoms X, require a workup that includes blood test for ABC, and if found give XYZ. No where in that process is an understanding of the Kreb cycle actually required. I don't care how or why ABC is made - I only need to know that if present under certain conditions do XYZ. The basic science would be used in a lab by someone who is not a clinical doctor to develop new and better XYZ - but that isn't a doctor's job. Same with most other things. How do antibiotics work? Who cares, just know that particular ones can fight particular things.........

Now part of me is gagging over here because I like basic science, and think doctors should be very involved in things that require it. I couldn't learn what I learn personally without knowing the foundations I think. BUT that is actually often a distraction and has even hurt me at times - while I am learning a 20 step process and all the wonders related, my colleague has just memories the clinical aspect and moved on. You don't win a gold star because you know the basic science :)

 

What if you wanted to do research while practising medicine?

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23 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

what is odd about that is Ottawa is one of the few schools that has a lot of prereqs. I mean you have to do a lot of chemistry relatively speaking for that school, to the point that if you are not in a science program you are definitely going out of your way to cover everything :) 

Yeah - UBC used to be THE prereq school in Canada and compared to that Ottawa seemed much lighter.  US and many IMG schools I think are quite a bit heavier.  The whole thing passed in a blink of an eye, and it's really hard to tell what happened.  Mac would probably be the faculty with the most difficulty if it were an issue, but doesn't seem to be a problem there.  It could also have to do with how the curriculum is delivered - e.g. more traditional lecture heavy or more reading based..

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14 minutes ago, Olle said:

 

What if you wanted to do research while practising medicine?

Ok then yes you need to know some basic science.....except for a few points

1) Most doctors are doing clinical research if they are doing research at all. They are testing a drug or treatment on a population. Often they didn't develop that drug or treatment though - in fact modern research is so involved there is a big team in play and the doctor would have a specific part. Their part is not the basic science. 

2) This is probably the main point - MOST doctors don't do research. It is really a small subsection, and by small I mean small. You can do the math - most family doctors don't (35-40% of all doctors right off the top), most of the other types of doctors aren't at academic centres (some estimate it is something like 1/3 - of course some fields it is nearly 100% but that is rare). Of those left how many want to do research and are doing it active? Not that many I find. 

and let's loop back - you want to do research? How has your UG degree prepared you for that? I am being somewhat serious about that - objectively how does it prepare you? How much statistics have you done - and I mean real statistics, like experimental design, large datasets etc...the stuff you don't get to until 3-4 courses in things deep? How many of the UG courses are designed to promote research skills as opposed to memorize or understand concepts? In all of your courses how many papers do you have to actually write? How many did you formally have to review? how many grants did you have to prepare or learn how to write? Did you learn how to actually setup and run a lab at some point? Did you have to demonstrate that skill? 

Probably for the most part very little unless you are personally active about it. I don't mean that in a bad way - our education system is structured in such a way that you do an UG to understand the concepts, and that grants you the right to do a masters/phd where you actually learn to advance the field. This is in part why our education system at university kind of sucks for getting people a job - it isn't fundamentally designed to do that at all. It is designed to prepare you do to a masters and so on. We all extract tangential benefit from our UG degrees - at least often more than the primary skills. 

So if the UG alone doesn't prepare you to do research all that well then what is left? probably actually doing a masters/phd - and for more of the doctors really involved in research at the basic level and often the clinical level that is what happens. They at some point do a masters or phD either before/after or built right into their medical trying. As a example academic surgery fields like neuro or cardiac surgery have a built in masters in effect because you have to research in those fields ha. 

 

Edited by rmorelan
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On 11/12/2017 at 3:43 PM, rmorelan said:

Not at all - I mean that is what medical school is actually for (of course) but really it isn't an issue for the most part. Which is exactly why they don't care about the program. 

On a broader note - the UG science stuff you take is quite a bit different I think than the medical school science. I feel that often we overstress the idea that there is a true connection. I mean you can flush the major of the math, physics, chemistry and biology you learn right down the toilet at the start of medical school with I think little consequence. Ha in some ways it is the same with residency (once you have completed the LMCC part 2). Knowledge is always useful in some fashion to be clear and we strive to know all we can. Just I wouldn't overly stress that - I could easily ask if all the science students had a hard time catching up with all the key non-science parts of medicine and dealing with all the grey areas (which is big part of things). 

The question is not whether you know something, it is rather can you learn something new?

 

Great last point. I think Anthropology can definitely provide some excellent foundations and directly applicable skills. Just thinking to the social anthropology I undertook with its emphasis on participant observation - certainly something which would help any medical professional in the fulfilment of their duties.

 

 

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